Cisco and IBM to future-proof MCG in $45 million upgrade

Cisco and IBM to future-proof MCG in $45 million upgrade

Upgrade includes high-density Wi-Fi and IPTV system

Cisco and IBM are set to turn the Melbourne Cricket Ground into one of Australia's most technically advanced stadiums as part of a $45 million uprade.

The two US technology giants will deliver a range of tech infrastructure during 2015 in to bid connect fans and improve the spectator experience.

The upgrade includes super-fast, secure, high-density Wi-Fi network in and around the stadium, allowing fans to access real-time and interactive content and to engage with other fans.

It will also include best-of-breed Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) system to deliver digital content to high-definition displays throughout the MCG, displaying information as it happens.

Best-in-class facilities for media and broadcasters will enable faster supply of event content to fans around the world.

While a state-of-the-art exterior LED lighting system, provided by partner Cockram, will enhance the visual appearance of the MCG and allow teams/clubs to personalise and theme the stadium for their fans.

The works are the next phase in a $45 million investment by the MCC, which has already delivered the two largest, high-definition scoreboards in Australia and the next generation of high-definition television production facilities.

The project will deliver a cutting-edge, high-density WiFi network inside the MCG, allowing fans, members and stakeholders fast access to the internet on any device at the stadium.

The IPTV solution will see installation of 800 high-definition screens. Fans will be able to watch high-definition replays and keep track of the action as it unfolds. Coupled with existing screens, a total of 2800 televisions around the stadium will mean that fans won't miss a moment.

The MCC appointed IBM as head technical contractor to design, evaluate technology options and implement the selected solution to further enable the delivery of fan engagement innovations.

IBM director, smarter cities, Catherine Caruana-McManus, said the technology solution IBM had designed would deliver the foundational backbone for MCC to future proof Australia's premier, world-renowned stadium.

"This work will enable MCC to take advantage of the latest mobile, social and analytics technologies. It will create unrivalled and personalised in-stadium fan engagement and ensure premier game day experiences, giving fans more reasons to visit more often," she said.

"IBM's expertise in delivering world leading innovation and digital solutions for sport and entertainment industries will deliver new commercial possibilities and attract more world-class events to the MCG. IBM is excited to partner with MCC on this transformation journey."

Cisco Systems director, Jonathon Dixon, said the MCC was transforming the stadium into one of the most technologically advanced in the world with the help of Cisco Sports and Entertainment solutions.

"We believe that as the Internet of Everything connects more people, processes, data and things, the fan experience will become more immersive, customised and engaging," he said.

"We are thrilled to be working with leaders like the MCC and IBM on this project."

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Tags Catherine Caruana-McManussmarter citiesCisco Systems directorJonathon DixonIBM directorMelbourne Cricket Ground is a channel management ecosystem that automates all major aspects of the entire sales, marketing and service process, including data tracking, integrated learning, knowledge management and product lifecycle management.

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